Calgary and nearby areas to witness another spectacular Northern Lights show

Northern Lights

Calgary and nearby areas are in for a treat as the Northern Lights, also known as aurora borealis, are expected to make another appearance in the night sky. Experts say that the space weather is becoming more active and the solar activity is peaking sooner than previously thought, creating favourable conditions for the aurora.

Northern Lights

What causes the Northern Lights?

The Northern Lights are caused by the interaction of charged particles from the sun with the Earth’s magnetic field. When the sun emits a burst of solar wind, it can disturb the Earth’s magnetosphere and cause electrons and protons to accelerate and collide with the atoms and molecules in the upper atmosphere. This produces different colours of light depending on the type and altitude of the collision. For example, green is the most common colour and is produced by oxygen atoms at about 100 kilometres above the Earth’s surface.

When and where to see the Northern Lights?

According to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, which provides aurora forecasts, there is a high chance of a G3 geomagnetic storm over the next few days, which means that the Northern Lights could be visible across most of Canada and some parts of the United States. The best time to see them is between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. local time, when the sky is dark and clear.

To see the Northern Lights, you need to find a spot away from the city lights and with a good view of the northern horizon. Some of the best places to see the aurora near Calgary are:

  • Nose Hill Park: This park offers a panoramic view of the city and the sky, and is easily accessible from the downtown area. However, it can be crowded and still affected by some light pollution, so you may want to go further north or east for a better view.
  • Horseshoe Canyon: This canyon is located about an hour and a half from Calgary, and has a stunning landscape of cliffs and badlands that create a dramatic backdrop for the aurora. It also has plenty of parking and trails, making it easy to set up your viewing spot.
  • Lake Minnewanka: This lake is about an hour from Calgary, and is one of the most popular destinations for aurora chasers. The lake’s reflection adds to the beauty of the light show, and there are several picnic areas and campgrounds where you can stay overnight.

How to capture the Northern Lights?

If you want to take photos or videos of the Northern Lights, you will need a camera that can adjust the exposure settings, a tripod to keep the camera steady, and a remote shutter or timer to avoid camera shake. Some of the recommended settings are:

  • Use a wide-angle lens to capture more of the sky
  • Set the aperture to the lowest possible value (f/2.8 or lower) to let in more light
  • Set the ISO to 800 or higher, depending on the brightness of the aurora and the amount of noise in the image
  • Set the shutter speed to between 5 and 15 seconds, depending on the movement of the aurora and the sharpness of the image
  • Set the focus to infinity or manually focus on a bright star
  • Experiment with different settings and angles until you get the best results

Don’t miss this rare opportunity

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon that can be unpredictable and elusive, so don’t miss this rare opportunity to witness them in Calgary and nearby areas. The aurora borealis is not only a stunning sight, but also a reminder of the wonders of nature and the mysteries of the universe.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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